Life can get stressful, especially during the school year, when obligations seem to pile up like dominos. Stress can lead to a bad case of the blues.
Fortunately, while you may get the doldrums, you don't have to keep them. There are easy, natural, and safe ways to lift your mood and to give yourself the energy you need to tackle every challenge you might face.
Even just taking a 15-minute walk can boost your mood. Or try an exercise specifically designed to beat stress, like yoga. Either way, exercise produces endorphins and lifts your serotonin level, both of which are the body's way of putting a smile on your face.
It doesn't hurt that you'll generally feel accomplished and virtuous after doing it, either!
Get Some Sunlight
We all need to get outside every once in awhile. Sunlight is good for us, and not just for the Vitamin D it helps our body produce. Like exercise, sunlight is a natural way to release serotonin in the brain. Humans are wired to be out in nature, despite the fact that our modern lifestyles seem to encourage the exact opposite.
Even ten minutes in your back yard or a local park ought to do the trick.
Just don't forget the sunscreen—too much direct sun exposure can cause premature aging and higher risk of skin cancer.
Watch Your Breathing
Just five minutes of focusing on your breathing can do wonders for your mood. Take deep breaths and let them out slowly. Often, we go through our days breathing in very shallow fashion.
Our body encourages shallow breathing in response to stress, but it works the other way too: shallow breathing can cause stress. The result is a sort of feedback loop. Consciously breaking the cycle and increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain and bloodstream can serve as a sort of "reset" button.
"Fake it till you make it." It's official and backed by science. Smiling literally tricks your brain into thinking you're already happy, causing it to release both dopamine and serotonin. It even lowers your heart rate.
All this means a really good smile can make you happy. At the very least, you'll get an energy boost, which can make you feel more confident about your ability to tackle your day.
Eat More Brain Food
The more carotenoids in your bloodstream, the higher your optimism levels. Foods rich in carotenoids include peaches, plums, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Yet one food leads the pack in terms of providing an optimism boost: kale.
Kale has higher levels of carotenoids than any other vegetable, which means consuming kale on the regular can make you very happy indeed.
Of course, some people hate the taste. That's why we developed EasyKale in the first place...to give you a pain-free way to get kale into your day. You get all the benefits without having to endure any of the taste. You don't even have to change your normal eating habits.
How's that for something to smile about?
(Don't have EasyKale? Use the code BLOG20 to get 20% off your purchase if you buy some EasyKale today!)